All of my books have been at various times optioned to become movies; some have moved further in the process than others, but only The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns have been made into movies. Paper Towns will be released in 2015 and The Fault in Our Stars was released in theaters on June 6, 2014 in the United States, and is now available on DVD. You can watch the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars below:
As for the other books:
Q. Looking for Alaska movie? I can haz? Nao plz?
A. The rights to the Looking for Alaska movie are owned by Paramount, which hired Josh Schwartz to write and direct the film. Josh wrote an excellent screenplay adaptation of the book, a screenplay which I desperately loved, but there was no enthusiasm for that kind of movie at Paramount, and so far as I know, there still isn’t. Paramount will probably still own the rights to LFA when my initial readers grow up and become famous film executives; hopefully then someone will make it, hopefully with Josh’s script, which I continue to love. Anyway, it could get made at any time, but I don’t know anything more than that.
Q. Katherines movie?
A. An Abundance of Katherines was optioned by a small production company that in the end couldn’t get a movie together; we’re now working with a different production company with the hopes of setting it up somewhere, but that’s a long way off.
Q. Paper Towns movie?
A. The rights to Paper Towns were optioned by Mandate Pictures (which made Juno), and I was hired to write the screenplay. I worked hard on the script for much of 2009, but in the end Mandate didn’t feel they had the kind of screenplay they could shoot. So it goes.
Q. Will Grayson, Will Grayson?
A. WGWG has not been optioned. (To quote a real live movie producer who really said this about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, “The only thing Hollywood hates more than smart teenagers is smart, gay teenagers.” I hope Hollywood will prove this movie producer wrong someday.)
Q. I would like to audition to be in the movie of your book?
A. Should Hollywood ever greenlight any of my other books, and should there be an open casting call, I will definitely let you know on the blog and in a video and on twitter and so on. But it should be noted that I have exactly as much say in casting as you do.
Q. How much did you change in the Paper Towns screenplay?
A. A lot. (For one thing, the ending was completely different.) I’ve always believed that a movie CAN’T be faithful to a book, because a book is something that happens in conversation between a writer and a reader, whereas a movie is mostly something you look at. So, like, trying to render the people and events of a novel on screen is impossible, I think, because you’ll only end up with some poor approximation of the magic of the book. So in the end I’d rather make a good movie than a faithful one, which is what I tried to do. I wanted the ideas of the book to be preserved, but mostly I just want the movie to be good.
Q. Where should I send a screenplay to get it produced?
A. If I had a reliable answer to that question, I’d have gotten my own screenplay produced. I’m sorry to say I have absolutely no idea how one goes about submitting screenplays.